Robert Spencer Allen 1 was born in Liverpool, Lancashire, England in the latter months of 1876 and he was baptised on 12 November that year in St Paul's Church, Princes Park, Liverpool.
He was the son of Liverpool-natives William Henry Allen (1840-1923), a customs officer, and his wife Margaret, née Pedder (1846-1900) who had married in St Michael's Church, Toxteth on 18 December 1857. Robert had twelve known siblings: William Henry (b. 1868), George (b. 1870), Mary Frances (b. 1871), Thomas (b. 1873), Sarah Jane (b. 1874), George (b. 1879), Alfred (b. 1881), Alice Maud (b. 1883), Frederick Arthur (b. 1885), Emily Elsie (b. 1887), Harold (b. 1889) and Ethel May (b. 1893).
Robert first appears on the 1881 census when he and his family were living at 11 Cromwell Street in Toxteth Park. The family had moved to 27 Hawkstone Street, Toxteth by the time of the 1891 census and Robert, aged 14, had already left school and was described as a shop boy.
Robert was married in Toxteth in early 1900 to Georgina Emily Jones (b. 1878 in Salford, Lancashire). The couple would have a total of five children but would lose two in infancy. Their surviving children were: Robert Spencer (b. 13 April 1901), Vera Laurabel(b. 1902) and Clifford Leslie (b. 1907).
The family moved from Liverpool to Southampton sometime after the birth of their youngest child and appear on the 1911 census living at Durlston, Kenilworth Road, The Polygon, Southampton and Robert is described as a ship's steward.
When he signed-on to the Titanic, on 4 April 1912, Allen gave his address as Durlston, Kenilworth Road, (Southampton). His last ship had been the Olympic. As a bedroom steward he received monthly wages of £3, 15s.
Robert Spencer Allen died in the sinking. His body, if recovered, was never identified. The following death notice appeared in the Southern Daily Echo (28 April 1912):
ALLAN--April 15th, 1912, on the S.S. Titanix, Robert Spencer, the dearly beloved husband of Georgina Emily Allan, of Durlston, Keilworth Road, Southampton. Deeply mourned by his sorrowing wife and children. God be with you till we meet again.
His widow and children later benefitted from the Titanic Relief Fund and later relocated back to their native Liverpool. Georgina Emily Allen never remarried and died aged 57 in 1936, but not before she weathered the death of her two sons Clifford and Robert.
Clifford was married in 1930 to Eleanor Wilson but he died just over four years later towards the end of 1934 aged 27.
Robert Allen followed in his father's footsteps and went to work for the Merchant Service. Like his father before him, Robert died at sea on 23 November 1923.
Robert Spencer Allen's last surviving child Vera Laurabel was married in 1921 to Bertram Taylor and they raised a family. She was widowed at a young age and she herself died in Liverpool aged 39 on 29 November 1940.
Mansion House Titanic Relief Fund
Dependents: Allan, William, Father. Allan, Georgina Emily, Widow. Allan, Robert Spencer (child), Allan Vera Laurabel (child) and Allan Clifford Leslie (Child). Class B dependents.
Titanic Relief Fund (Liverpool Committee)
Minutes: 1st December 1915).
Allan, Mrs Georgina E. Address for Cheques: Sefton Park Branch, 435 Smithdown Road. Liverpool. Net Monthly Allowance to Widow £5 19 2. Children: £1 10 4d Monthly total £7 9 6.
- Spelling of surname varies between records as Allan and Allen. His baptismal record gives the name as Allen. The spelling varies across the birth records for his children, including their eventual death records.
References and SourcesAgreement and Account of Crew (PRO London, BT100/259)
Mansion House Titanic Relief Fund Booklets and Minute Books
Titanic Relief Fund Minutes Liverpool Committee, 1 December 1915
Hermann Söldner (ed.) (2000) RMS Titanic: Passenger and Crew List 10 April 1912-15 April 1912. ä wie Ärger Verlag.